The Psychology of Manipulation: 6 Lessons from the Master of Propaganda
by Ryan Matters Apr 23, 2022
Edward L. Bernays was an American business consultant who is widely recognized as the father of public relations. Bernays was one of the men responsible for “selling” World War 1 to the American public by branding it as a war that was necessary to “make the world safe for democracy”.
During the 1920s, Bernays consulted for a number of major corporations, helping to boost their business through expertly crafted marketing campaigns aimed at influencing public opinion.
In 1928, Edward Bernays published his famous book, Propaganda, in which he outlined the theories behind his successful “public relations” endeavours. The book provides insights into the phenomenon of crowd psychology and outlines effective methods for manipulating people’s habits and opinions.
For a book that’s almost 100 years old, Propaganda could not be more relevant today. In fact, its relevance is a testament to the unchanging nature of human psychology.
One of the key takeaways of the book is that mind control is an important aspect of any democratic society. Indeed, Bernays maintains that without the “conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses”, democracy simply would not “work”.
We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
According to Bernays, those doing the “governing” constitute an invisible ruling class that “understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses”.
In Propaganda, Bernays draws on the work of Gustave Le Bon, Wilfred Trotter, Walter Lippmann, and Sigmund Freud (his uncle!), outlining the power of mass psychology and how it may be used to manipulate the “group mind”.
If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it?
I recently explored this topic in an essay about how occult rituals and predictive programming are used to manipulate the collective consciousness, influencing the thoughts, beliefs and actions of large groups of people, resulting in the creation of what occultists call “egregores”.
Here I have extracted some key insights from Bernays in an attempt to show how his book Propaganda is, in many ways, the playbook used by the globalist cryptocracy to process the group mind of the masses.
1. If you manipulate the leader of a group, the people will follow.
Bernays tells us that one of the easiest ways to influence the thoughts and actions of large numbers of people is to first influence their leader.
If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway.
In fact, one of the most firmly established principles of mass psychology is that the “group mind” does not “think”, rather, it acts according to impulses, habits and emotions. And when deciding on a certain course of action, its first impulse is to follow the example of a trusted leader.
Humans are, by nature a group species. Even when we are alone, we have a deep sense of group belonging. Whether they consciously know it or not, much of what people do is an effort to conform to the ideals of their chosen group so as to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging.
This exact method of influencing the leader and watching the people follow has been used extensively throughout the last few years. One notable instance that comes to mind is the horrendously inaccurate epidemiological models created by Neil Ferguson, which formed the basis for President Boris Johnson’s lockdown policies.
Once Johnson was convinced of the need to lockdown and mask up, the people gladly followed.
2. Words are powerful: The key to influencing a group is the clever use of language.
Certain words and phrases are associated with certain emotions, symbols and reactions. Bernays tell us that through the clever and careful use of language, one can manipulate the emotions of a group and thereby influence their perceptions and actions.
By playing upon an old cliché, or manipulating a new one, the propagandist can sometimes swing a whole mass of group emotions.
The clever use of language has been employed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to great effect. An obvious example of this was when the definition of “vaccine” was changed to include injections utilising experimental mRNA technology.
You see, the word “vaccine” is associated in the public mind with a certain picture – that of a safe, proven medical intervention that is not only life-saving but absolutely necessary.
If governments had told people to go get their “gene therapies”, the vast majority of the public would likely question the motives behind such a campaign; they would feel extremely sceptical because the phrase “gene therapy” is not associated with the same images, emotions and feelings as “vaccine”.
The same goes for the word “pandemic”, the definition of which was also changed. The word “pandemic” is generally associated in the collective consciousness with fear, death, chaos and emergency (largely thanks to Hollywood and the myriad virus films it has released over the years).
3. Any medium of communication is also a medium for propaganda.
Any system of communication, whether phone, radio, print, or social media, is nothing more than a means of transmitting information. Bernays reminds us that any such means of communication is also a channel for propaganda.
There is no means of human communication which may not also be a means of deliberate propaganda.
Bernays goes on to stress that a good propagandist must always keep abreast of new forms of communication, so that they may co-opt them as means of deliberate propaganda.
Indeed, systems that most people would associate with freedom of speech and democracy are none other than means of circulating propaganda. Facebook fact-checkers, Big Tech censorship and YouTube’s Covid banners certainly fall into this category.
Other examples of this include the recent algorithm updates made by various search engines (including Google and DuckDuckGo) to penalize Russian websites. Although this should come as no surprise (Google has been engaging in this type of “shadow propaganda” for many years).
4. Reiterating the same idea over and over again creates habits and convictions.
Although Bernays terms this a technique used by the “old propagandists”, he, nonetheless, recognizes its usefulness.
It was one of the doctrines of the reaction psychology that a certain stimulus often repeated would create a habit, or that the mere reiteration of an idea would create a conviction.
Repeating the same idea or the same “mantra” again and again is a form of neuro-linguistic programming aimed at instilling certain concepts or emotions into the subconscious mind. Indeed, people who are feeling sad or depressed are often advised to repeat to themselves an uplifting saying or affirmation.
There are many examples of this simple, yet effective, technique being used to great effect over the last few years. Think Q’s “trust the plan”, the globalist favourite, “build back better” or the incessant repetition of that twisted phrase, “trust the science”. Included in this category are the 24/7-in-your-face death statistics and case numbers, aimed at promoting the illusion of a pandemic.
There are more obvious examples of this as well, such as news anchors in different areas all reading from the exact same script.
5. Things are not desired for their intrinsic worth, but rather for symbols that they represent.
After studying why people make certain purchasing decisions, Bernays observed that people often don’t desire something for its usefulness or value, but rather because it represents something else which they unconsciously crave.
A thing may be desired not for its intrinsic worth or usefulness, but because he has unconsciously come to see in it a symbol of something else, the desire for which he is ashamed to admit to himself.
Bernays gives the example of a man buying a car. From the outside, it may appear as if the man is buying the car because he needs a means of transport, but in actuality, he is buying it because he craves the elevated social status that comes with owning a motor vehicle.
This idea, too, applies to the events over the last few years.
For example, masks are a symbol of compliance. Everyone knows they don’t work but they wear them because of their desire to “fit in”, and to be seen as an upstanding citizen who follows the rules. Covid-19 injections are also a symbol and many people choose to get them because they have a desire to avoid being called an “anti-vaxxer” or a “conspiracy theorist”.
6. One can manipulate individual actions by creating circumstances that modify group customs.
Lastly, Bernays tells us that if one wishes to manipulate the actions of an individual, the most effective way to do so is to create circumstances that engender the desired behaviour.
What are the true reasons why the purchaser is planning to spend his money on a new car instead of on a new piano? […] He buys a car, because it is at the moment the group custom to buy cars. The modern propagandist therefore sets to work to create circumstances which will modify that custom.
For example, why all of a sudden does everyone “stand with Ukraine”? According to Bernays, it’s not because there is a war going on and innocent people need our love and support, but rather because it is the new “group custom” to do so.
The process of altering group customs begins from the top down. In every nation or social clique, there are leaders, public figures and influencers. Manipulating those with the most sway eventually filters down into the public mind. That is why when a celebrity decides to wear something extravagant on the red carpet, a whole new trend can arise overnight.
Similarly, at the beginning of the Covid saga and then the Russia-Ukraine war, the media were quick to circulate stories of celebs “catching Covid” and urging people to stay home, or public figures condemning Russian actions and calling for stricter sanctions (which just so happened to hurt the West more than they hurt Russia).
The Propaganda Playbook
The world is a volatile place right now. Things seem to change quickly and no one knows what might happen next. However, amid all this chaos there is one thing that has not changed and is unlikely to change any time soon, and that is human psychology.
Because of this, the tactics used to manipulate people’s thoughts, beliefs and actions have not changed either. In fact, most of them were outlined in detail 100 years ago by Edward Bernays in his 1928 book, Propaganda.
That’s right, the Puppet Master’s playbook isn’t a secret. It’s right there, freely available to anyone who cares to understand how the powers that be seek to influence them on a daily basis.
Propaganda by Edward Bernays has now been added to our Forbidden Library. Read it now, along with other forbidden books.
Ryan Matters is a writer and free thinker from South Africa. After a life-changing period of illness, he began to question mainstream medicine, science and the true meaning of what it is to be alive. Ryan is also the founder of NewBraveWorld.org where he posts a selection of his essays related to topics such as science, philosophy, medicine, spirituality and current events. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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